*UPDATE* Thatcher is officially potty trained! Yeah! It took a lot of intense training and hard work on Thatcher’s part, but we finally made it. Now, Thatcher hardly ever has an accident, which is good news for Mom and Dad. However, Thatcher is still learning how to pull his pants up and down, wiping, and proper hand washing. During the day, we set a time, which goes off every hour to alert Thatcher that it is “Potty Time.” He sits on the potty for 9 minute intervals (unless he goes sooner) to give him the maximum time to do his business without sitting for too long and we have a middle of the night potty break most nights to avoid night time accidents.
So, now for the real reason for this post: Thatcher’s Tough Day at O.T.
Okay, so normally, Thatcher likes going to the therapy, but some days, he just doesn’t feel like it. Those are the most difficult days because Thatcher usually screams and it’s not easy to calm him and if he isn’t calm, it’s harder to get any real work done, but today I was impressed. Even though this is the beginning of the week right after Thanksgiving break, Thatcher and his O.T. were able to work together, changing up the activities for today, to get the most out of his O.T. session.
So, here are some pictures:
Thatcher started out jumping on the trampoline. This is a great activity for sensory input, which is vital for Thatcher. This can calm him and make it easier for Thatcher to do better during other tasks. The reason is because Thatcher has sensory processing disorder, so Thatcher has to have extra sensory input in order to cope with the world around him. At home, Thatcher likes to jump on his bed, and off his bed, and jump up and down in front of the television. Simply put, like many children with Autism who like to swing or rock, Thatcher likes to jump.
After some jumping on the trampoline, Thatcher had some fun with Play Dough. This is a more difficult task that is used to build hand strength so that Thatcher can do better with fine motor tasks, like tying shoes, using scissors, and using a pencil. Thatcher does not have a very good grip and has some trouble controlling what his hands are doing. Whereas most children his age are learning to trace letters and numbers and tie their shoes, Thatcher is working on the fundamental building blocks to do these tasks.
Thatcher got interested in pulling apart the Play Dough before getting frustrated and throwing it across the room.
When Thatcher is frustrated and jumping doesn’t help, Thatcher really likes “deep pressure.” Thatcher will often seek out hugs for comfort, even from people he doesn’t know very well, but he will not a hug a person if he’s not in the mood to do so, like many other kids his age.
When Thatcher is seeking deep pressure, it is good for him to have “squeezes,” which literally means, squeezing him, a little harder than for a normal hug. This gives him the deep pressure he needs. His O.T. also used “Joint Compressions” today to try and calm Thatcher, which is where the O.T. grabs at both sides of a joint and pushes them together. For example, a wrist joint compression would consist of grabbing the hand and the arm and pushing them together to compress the joint.
Thatcher did a little bit of coloring today, which is useful in teaching the proper grip for handwriting and will later lead to the fine motor skills necessary for writing letters and numbers. Thatcher’s O.T. uses stencils and plastic texture cards under the paper to keep Thatcher interested in coloring the paper because it is easier to feel what the crayon is doing with this method, but sometimes, Thatcher likes to look at the texture cards and stencils.
Because Thatcher was having such a tough day today, we ended the day with a light up fidget toy. Fidget toys can help a person with Autism focus better on a task at hand because they are focused on only one or two things, rather than focusing on several different things. We often use fidget toys at Potty Time to keep Thatcher focused so that he will stay on the potty and do what he needs to do without getting up and wandering off too soon. Fidget toys can also be very calming for the same reason that they help a person with Autism be more focused.
So, there’s a tough day at O.T. Most days more work gets done, but today, we took it easy, changed up the schedule and got through O.T. without too much fuss from Thatcher, even though he really didn’t feel up to being there today.
And last, but not least, I’m considering moving this blog to Tumblr because Tumblr has become a more popular blog host among many people that I know. I really like Blogger and have been with Blogger for various blogs for quite a few years, but to reach the masses, I feel that I must move on.